Genesee Health Plan announces winners of Health Heritage essay contest



FLINT — Genesee Health Plan has (GHP) announced the student and teacher recipients of its Sixth Annual Health Heritage Essay and Scholarship Contests, sponsored by Sovita Credit Union.

Scholarship recipients and essay contest winners will be awarded at the Genesee Health Plan Health Care Hall of Fame 20th Anniversary Awards Dinner on Sept. 17.

Each year, students from across Genesee County reflect on their family health histories and how it may impact their current and future health. The scholarship contest winners are Anne-Marie Atanga of Genesee Early College and Emily Rose of Davison High School.

“This year, we felt it was important to ask students to reflect on their understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difference in health outcomes between racial and ethnic groups,” said E. Yvonne Lewis, GHP Director of Outreach. “Additionally, GHP acknowledges and appreciates the teachers and parents who helped their children understand the current health crisis and encouraged them to participate in the contests, as a result of their efforts, there were 115 contest submissions this year.”

Scholarship recipient Anne- Marie Atanga graduated this year from Genesee Early College and is heading to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for a dual degree in neuroscience and voice performance. In her essay, Atanga discussed the diseases and conditions present in her family. It’s important to know, she said, because conditions caught earlier may be more treatable. As a neuroscientist, Atanga wants to be invested in patient welfare.

“It’s important to remember to treat patients as human beings,” Atanga said. “Sometimes there are biases that affect how health care is given to certain populations. I would like to be part of changing that situation.”

The second scholarship recipient, Emily Rose, graduated from Davison High School this year and finished with three associate degrees in sciences, arts, and general studies via the early college program. She will attend Wayne State University this fall and major in psychology, with plans to attend medical school for psychiatry. Her essay focused on mental health and eliminating the stigma around it.

“It’s better than it used to be when many people never talked about it,” Rose said. “I want to help people who are struggling and help them understand they are not alone, that many people are going through the same thing.”

“Sovita Credit Union is honored to continue to sponsor the Health Heritage Essay and Scholarship Contests and to support bright local students in pursuing vital careers in health care,” said Jen Shew, marketing director for Sovita. “We are also proud to support Genesee County teachers who have helped ensure their students continue to learn throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Elementary (grades 5 and 6 only), middle/junior high school and high school students wrote essays about their family health history and their current and future health for the essay contest. The contest winners are:


First place: Landon Pieper, Goodrich Area Schools

Second place: Colt Maynard, Goodrich Area Schools

Middle school

First place: Rithvik Vensietty, Grand Blanc East Middle School

Second place: Aniya Adamczyk, Davison Middle School

High school

First place: Amanda Benchley, Grand Blanc High School

Second place (tied): Anna Martinez, and Madison Lee, Grand Blanc High School

The teacher winners are:

Lyniece McNair-Levi, teacher at Grand Blanc High School, with participation from 67 students, including six scholarship submissions.

Mary Ann Haar, teacher at Goodrich Area Schools, with participation from 13 students. — G.G.